Asha Jaswal, 62, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor from Ward 17, is all set to become the city mayor with the party announcing her candidature on Friday. For the post of senior deputy mayor, the party has named Rajesh Gupta, 51, (ward 16) while Anil Dubey, 48, (ward 24) will be in the fray for the deputy mayor’s post.
The mayoral elections are scheduled for January 12, and the nominations will be filed on January 7. With the numbers already in the BJP’s favour (the party won 21 of 26 seats in the MC polls), the three candidates are expected to be catapulted to the these posts. Meanwhile the Congress, which won just four seats, is fielding Gurbax Rawat as its mayoral candidate.
Asha Jaswal and Rajesh Gupta are said to be close to Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon, while Dubey is from former MP Harmohan Dhawan’s camp.
Besides the 21 elected party councillors, the BJP is expected to get the support of nine nominated councillors, who were selected by UT administrator V P Singh Badnore, and the vote of MP Kirron Kher in the 36-member House.
In a triangular fight for the mayor’s post in the first term of the previous MC House, Raj Bala Malik had won on the Congress ticket, defeated Asha Jaswal and Bahujan Samaj Party’s Jannat Jahan. The first term of the fiveyear House is reserved for a woman candidate from general category. The next term is for a candidate from general category, the third is reserved for a candidate from SC category, the fourth for a woman from general category and fifth for general category.